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Co-Operative Bank’s Gideon Muruiki Manager Gives Conflicting Information In Court Over Land Row



Co-op Bank’s Gideon Muriuki.

An operations manager of a company involved in a property tussle was hard-pressed to explain where he reported an attack carried out in the property three years ago.

Gidjoy Investment Operations Manager Mark Munge told the trial court that he reported the incident at Savanna base and not Buruburu police station as he stated earlier. Gidjoy investment Limited is associated with the Co-operative Bank CEO Gideon Muriuki and his wife.

He testified during examination in chief that after receiving a call from his head of security informing him that they were under attack, he called Buruburu police station and told the guard to do the same.

Giving his testimony before Principal Magistrate Gibert Shikwe, Munge testified that he called the OCS Buruburu and reported the matter.

“On March 27, 2018, I received a call from Dickson Nyairo, the security in charge saying that they were being attacked by Patrobas (one of the accused persons) and his group. I told him to call the police,” Munge added.

Munge testified that he recorded his statement on the same day at 5pm.

The defense lawyer also pointed out that the crime and incident report also shows the matter was reported at 10.30am and not 8am as the manager claimed.

The court heard that the manager has worked for the land selling company since 2012 and had been authorized by one of the directors, Gideon Kariuki, to testify on behalf of the company.

Munge clarified that he received the call at about 7.45 and visited the property at 9 am.

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According to the witness, when he got there accompanied by guards, he found that about 100 meters of the wall had been destroyed.

The court heard that the manager has worked for the land selling company since 2012 and had been authorized by one of the directors, Gideon Muriuki, to testify on behalf of the company. Munge said that he received the call at about 7.45am and visited the property at 9.00am.

According to the witness, when he got there, he went inside the said land together with the guards and found about 100 meters of the wall had been destroyed.

“We had a fence of wooden poles and wires around the 7 acre land. The damage was valued at about Sh 144,000,” Munge testified.

The court further heard that the land has been subdivided into 36 parcels.

In the case, 10 Sawesava group members are charged with malicious damage of a perimeter wall belonging to Gideon.

The accused persons are Benita Alando Nailanel, Peter Keya Owino, David Mutuku Makau, Kennedy Odhiambo Alex, Titus Ochieng Okoth, Boniface Oduor Anyiego, Calvince Ochieng Ooko, Patrobas Awino (group secretary), Nick Omondi Owango and Philemon Otieno are charged with malicious damage of the said fence.

The four include former Chief of Kayole in Nairobi Alexander Hoops, Peter Gitau Muiruri, Peter Njoroge Kanika, and Patrobas Awino. They are accused of conspiring to defraud the said company the said property located in Donholm Nairobi by false pretending that they had a genuine title deed issued and signed by Rosemary Anyango Ngong’a, a Land’s Registrar.

In August 2021, the four officials of the Sowesava self-help group were charged afresh with conspiracy to defraud Gidjoy Investment Limited 11.8 Acres parcels of land worth around 1 billion.

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In November 2021, the lower Criminal Court at Milimani Nairobi County Kenya was treated to a familiar set of drama that forced the court to adjourn a case that has failed to take off for the third time.

Senior Principal Magistrate Gilbert Shikwe got furious on noticing that the DCI through state prosecution had switched files. The judge noted that the documentary evidence in a 11-acre land dispute supplied to the accused was not the same as with the prosecution’s.

The anomaly was detected by the defence Lawyer George Gilbert during cross examination of the state witness where Sowesava Self-help group and nine other people were are charged with invading a piece of land in Nairobi’s Donholm Estate.

State prosecution was then accused by the court of playing rogue leading to the adjournment of the case for the third time. In all the cases, the prosecution had been introducing new evidence every time without informing the court and the defense as required in the trials protocols.

In the previous adjournment the State witness representing Gidjoy investment Limited was unable to authenticate before the trial Court whether he was the real complainant in the ongoing criminal matter, after the defence cornered him during cross examination, whereby the defence orally submitted for a request for the genuine complainant Gideon Muriuki and his wife to be summoned as witnesses to shade more light on the vigourous ownership of the said disputed prime land within the capital City prime place Donholm Estate.

The disputed land is the formerly Nairobi /block 82/7333 now part of the amalgamation of other parcels valued at Sh944 million.

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Kenya Insights is informed that the tag of war spans over 3 decades, the squatters insists they’re the lawful owners of the land that they’ve occupied and lived in for over 30 years before Gidjoy claimed ownership in what they say is land grabbing.

In the line, the officials of the group have had to face several charges individually.

In the first count, they are accused of  intent to defraud Gidjoy Investment Ltd of 11.8 acres in Donholm and making a false allotment letter purporting it to be genuine and issued by a lands administration officer jointly with others not before court on unknown dates.

They also face a second count of forging a lease purportedly signed by  Rosemary Ngong’a , a land registrar, on unknown dates within the country.

They further face a third count of forging a title with intent to defraud Gidjoy investment Ltd purporting it was issued by Ngong’a.

The court also heard that the four forged a lease document purportedly signed and stamped by Ng’arua Kamuya, an advocate of the High Court of Kenya.

The suspects further allegedly conspired to defraud Gidjoy Investments Limited by falsely pretending they had a genuine title dated November 28, 2001 issued and signed by Ngong’a.

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